Home News ‘Fully alienated’: British Muslims on Labour, Tory stance on Gaza warfare | Israel Warfare on Gaza Information

‘Fully alienated’: British Muslims on Labour, Tory stance on Gaza warfare | Israel Warfare on Gaza Information

‘Fully alienated’: British Muslims on Labour, Tory stance on Gaza warfare | Israel Warfare on Gaza Information


London, United Kingdom — Visiting Tel Aviv in mid-October, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stood subsequent to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, who had launched a devastating warfare on Gaza following the October 7 Hamas assaults on southern Israel. “We wish you to win,” Sunak advised Netanyahu earlier than the cameras.

Greater than two months later, the UK’s assist for Israel’s warfare has remained largely unqualified, whilst Israeli bombs and artillery firing have killed greater than 21,000 Palestinians in Gaza, together with greater than 8,000 youngsters.

However no matter a “win” would possibly appear like for Israel, Sunak’s Conservative Celebration and the opposition Labour Celebration, whose chief Keir Starmer has additionally backed Netanyahu’s warfare, have each misplaced voters like Ala Sirriyeh, a senior lecturer in sociology at Lancaster College.

“It has proven very starkly who they’re ready to throw below the bus to get elected, whose welfare issues and whose doesn’t,” she advised Al Jazeera. “As a Palestinian, I really feel fully alienated from the foremost political events [in the UK] and won’t be voting for both of them within the close to future.”

She just isn’t alone. As Israel continues to bomb Palestinians in Gaza, a coalition of political teams, employee’s unions, college students, healthcare professionals, journalists, writers, and customary folks from all walks of life have been organising within the UK, urging their political management to name for a ceasefire. The protesters, day in and time out have occupied public areas and weapons factories and marched throughout metropolis centres and college campuses. Hundreds of individuals have signed petitions calling for a ceasefire.

But, as leaders throughout each main events have stayed agency of their assist for Israel, they face a specific disaster of credibility amongst British Muslims, who represent 6.7 % of the inhabitants and historically largely vote in assist of the Labour Celebration.

“It’s deeply distressing to see these requires a ceasefire being ignored or shut down,” Sirriyeh mentioned.

In a survey involving 30,000 Muslim members carried out in late October by the Muslim Census, an organisation based mostly within the UK, solely 5 % of the respondents mentioned they’d vote for Labour within the subsequent normal elections. That’s a lot decrease in contrast with 71 % of British Muslims who voted for the get together in 2019. The Conservative Celebration, which drew 9 % of the Muslim vote in 2019, would get lower than 1 % of the votes of these sampled in that survey.

In one other survey of 1,032 Muslims throughout the UK, greater than two-thirds expressed dissatisfaction with the British authorities’s response to the Israeli assault on Gaza. Practically half of the respondents conveyed related sentiments concerning Starmer’s method to the disaster, although a majority nonetheless backed the Labour Celebration.

And it isn’t simply Muslims within the UK. In a YouGov ballot of total public sentiments revealed on November 15, a 3rd of the members mentioned the UK authorities ought to oppose Israel’s warfare and push for a ceasefire. One other quarter of those that participated known as for a restricted ceasefire. Solely 9 % opposed any form of a ceasefire whereas backing Israel’s army goals.

“I’ve seen the conversations, and perceptions, concerning this concern shift considerably in favour of Palestine,” Arooj, a schoolteacher in her 20s who has participated in protest rallies, advised Al Jazeera. Arooj mentioned she was not snug sharing her full identify, at a time when many pro-Palestinian protesters have been focused at their workplaces.

Even a month after that survey, nonetheless, British Overseas Secretary David Cameron refused to again a right away ceasefire, in an op-ed, written in collaboration together with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock. “We don’t consider that calling proper now for a normal and fast ceasefire, hoping it someway turns into everlasting, is the way in which ahead,” they wrote, blaming Hamas for the disaster.

Starmer too has refused to again a full finish to preventing in Gaza, as an alternative calling for a “sustainable ceasefire”, a phrase that Tayib Ali, the director of the UK-based Worldwide Centre of Justice for Palestinians, termed a “weak and watered down name”.

Throughout a parliamentary vote on a ceasefire decision, launched by the Scottish Nationalist Celebration, Starmer threatened Labour members with expulsion in the event that they voted in favour. Earlier, in a radio interview, the Labour chief backed Israel’s choice to withhold water and electrical energy from Gaza.

In the meantime, United Nations specialists and main human rights teams have warned that Israel is probably going committing warfare crimes and that its actions would possibly quantity to genocide, as South Africa has alleged in a case earlier than the Worldwide Court docket of Justice.

Sirriyeh mentioned she believes the Labour management’s reluctance to criticise Israel stems from fears that allegations of anti-Semitism may be weaponised towards the get together. “Given the critiques levied on the Labour Celebration throughout Jeremy Corbyn’s management concerning the get together’s failure to deal with alleged anti-Semitism inside its ranks, there’s a wariness amongst politicians for calling for a ceasefire and calling out Israeli warfare crimes,” she mentioned.

Starmer has confronted a revolt from sections of his get together over his stance. Imran Hussain, a entrance bench MP and shadow minister, in his resignation letter to Starmer, mentioned a ceasefire was important to ending the struggling of individuals in Gaza. Accusing Israel of inflicting warfare crimes and collective punishment, Hussain wrote, “The scenario in Gaza is now past that of a humanitarian disaster.”

Condemning Starmer’s assist for Israel’s coverage of withholding water and electrical energy from Gaza, at the least 23 Labour councillors left the get together. Shaista Aziz, one amongst them, wrote that the Labour chief had “horrifyingly endorsed the collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza”.

However it’s on the streets that Arooj sees the way forward for pro-Palestinian solidarity within the UK, within the type of younger folks — together with schoolchildren — who’ve marched towards the warfare. Polling reveals that youthful folks within the UK lean considerably in assist of Palestine. “The youthful era offers me hope,” she mentioned.



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